Theatre of Chaos: Beyond Absurdism, into Orderly Disorder

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Overview

In this unique and invigorating study, chaos theory and quantum mechanics are employed as the basis for a clearer understanding of the often confusing contemporary theatre world. Examining numerous antecedents to contemporary thought on chaos and the cultural roots of the notion of chaos, links are provided to playwrights ranging from Shakespeare to Ibsen and Tom Stoppard to Sam Shepard. William Demastes investigates parallel developments across the arts and sciences: connections between the dramatic naturalism of the late nineteenth century and Newtonian thought, and theatre of the absurd and disorderly chaos theory. After centuries of isolation and increased specialisation, the author contends, it may once again be time to consider the 'arts' and 'sciences' not as two isolated enterprises but to acknowledge interrelations between them.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521619868
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Preface: awash in chaos; Introduction: the new science metaphor and modern drama: a brief history of western thought; 1. Quantum physics as metaphor: elliptical beginnings of the new paradigm; 2. Chaos and theatre: sensitive dependence on initial conditions; 3. Intuitive intersections: American drama confronts orderly disorder; 4. Theatre of chaos, past and future; Conclusion; Chaos and cultural futures; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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